When a critiquing partner gave me feedback on a manuscript he told me the ending was weak. Then he made a suggestion.

My female cop could encounter the antagonist alone.

I'm fairly certain he heard my groaning on his side of the pond. I did not want to do the typical "woman in danger to be saved by male partner" scenario. Since there was a female criminal in the story as well this discussion moved on to suggestions that my female cop could catch the female criminal and maybe there could be white t-shirts and some mud involved...

A few of my reads this year have had something in them that made me roll my eyes. Some "Even a blind man could have seen that coming" moment. What overused plot twists/storylines/cliched characters are you sick of seeing? And can you think of a book where you thought everything was predictable and you knew what would happen and then the author threw a curve at you that you didn't expect and really made it work? When was the last time a book really surprised you?

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Some days, I think I could get behind creating a "man in jeopardy" plot line. Except he usually doesn't get rescued...
I think your heroine should best the villian by using her wits. In a book about a female detective or police officer, she should be the one to save herself.
It's the tricks to lure her out that are the trick for me. You've really got to sell me on that.

Main thing is, the main protagonist is a male cop, for starters. This is primarily his story. Second to that, the scene in question is pertinent for an entirely different reason other than confrontation with the criminal. And... well, I don't want to dissect it too much. The ms is pretty much dead to me at the moment anyway. I love it, I'm proud of it, and it may never see print so I'm not thinking about it. But it was never meant to be a thriller and that may be a critical difference between how I view it and how others do it. I think books are being pushed to be thrillers these days...and this isn't.

And, given the options, I think I'd prefer writing the mud wrestling scene!

My head's all wrapped around the other one these days, but I don't want to talk about WHAT BURNS WITHIN either. Feels like jinxing it somehow.


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